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Bumgarner, Giants turn tables on Dodgers

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Madison Bumgarner threw only eight innings of shutout ball, and he did not support his cause with a home run, but he drew high praise from San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Tuesday night.

A step down from the magnificent performance of Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day, perhaps, but Bumgarner stepped up for the San Francisco Giants in a 3-0 win over the Dodgers.

A day after Kershaw dazzled in a four-hit, seven-strikeout shutout -- even breaking a scoreless tie with an eighth-inning home run -- Bumgarner turned the tables on the Dodgers and their star offseason acquisition, pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Bumgarner allowed just two hits -- both doubles, one by Andre Ethier and one by A.J. Ellis -- and struck out six in eight innings to pick up the win. He didn't issue a walk. Bumgarner, who shut out the Dodgers over eight innings and struck out 10 in his lone start against Los Angeles last season, threw 76 of his 101 pitches for strikes and constantly worked ahead in the count.

"A pitcher who has command of his pitches, who gets ahead of the hitters, they're in control," Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "With these two teams, it's always about the pitching. That's why the Giants have won the World Series two of the last three years, because of pitching. That's why we're in position to make a playoff run, because of our pitching."

It helps when the pitchers become hitters.

Like Kershaw on Monday, Bumgarner also made an impact at the plate, hitting a fifth-inning single and also collecting an RBI with a seventh-inning fielder's choice that led to a throwing error by Los Angeles shortstop Justin Sellers. Two runs scored on the play.

"I felt really good," Bumgarner said. "That's probably the best I've felt in a long time. Usually, things don't work out the first start of the year, the first month of the year. It felt good to get started on a good note."

It was a rare bountiful beginning for Bumgarner, who lasted just three innings in his season debut in 2011 and four innings in a 5-4 loss at Arizona last April 7, when he allowed seven hits and four runs, including two home runs.

"He's worked hard on getting back online, to shorten things up a little bit. He was on today," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "Wow, what a game. We've seen some great pitching here. He made a comment after the game, 'It's good to get off to a nice start,' because last year, I guess it didn't go so well."

On the other side, Ryu made an unsuccessful Dodgers debut. The Japanese import was sensational late in spring training, retiring 23 batters in a row to close camp, but the Giants got to him early on Tuesday.

Angel Pagan, who had two of the Giants' four hits against Kershaw on Monday, led off the game with a single, and that was a sign of things to come for Ryu.

The $36 million left-hander allowed 10 hits and three runs (one earned) while striking out five.

"It was just the fact that I gave up that one run (that I regretted)," Ryu said. "After that point, it was harder to climb back."

A Joaquin Arias RBI single in the fourth inning scored Buster Posey, and Sellers' seventh-inning error capped the scoring.

Pagan, Hunter Pence and Arias each had two hits to spur San Francisco.

"Hopefully I bring good energy to the lineup," Pagan said. "When your leadoff hitter gets on base, it's a good thing; there's a high percentage that when your leadoff hitter gets on base, you score. We're not recognized for hitting a lot of homers, but to keep the lineup running smart and hard, and if I keep getting on base early, we're going to be all right."

NOTES: Ryu went 98-52 with a 2.80 ERA in 190 career games for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization. The Dodgers signed him to a six-year, $36 million deal in December after posting a $25.7 million fee for the rights to negotiate with agent Scott Boras. ... Monday's shutout was just the third time in the last 46 years that San Francisco was blanked on Opening Day. The Giants' last season-opening shutout also came against the Dodgers in a 5-0 loss to Brad Penny in 2008. ... The Giants became to the first National League team to win two World Series in three years since the Cincinnati Reds in 1975-76. ... Bochy is just 100 games shy of becoming the 20th man to manage 3,000 career games. ... Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, joined by his young son, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
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